We have to do what is necessary to help the community, and Chef Jonny Rhodes has come up with a way to do his part! Rhodes, who is from Houston, has converted his popular soul food restaurant, Indigo, into a grocery store. The store will give low-income families better access to high-quality food. The decision to make the conversion came about due to the current coronavirus pandemic, according to BlackBusiness.com.
The entrepreneurial chef opened Indigo two years ago in the north Houston neighborhood of Trinity Groves. He recently changed that business to Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries as it opened this week on April 1 at 2019 Bennington Street.
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It is times & moments like these in which we referenced from our inception. This project wasn’t due to launch until the fall, but our people need us NOW. As many have formed opinions on our current state as a nation , nothing has changed then or now about our position regarding food apartheid and food inequality in the nation. They are very different subjects, and we plan to address them head on with our concept @broham_groceries . While we cannot open until April 1, 2020 it brings us great joy to announce the launch of our first combat outpost in the fight against food injustice in black/brown communities. We are not sure when the tasting room will reopen, but leave with this. Land inequalities will only exacerbate hardships when agricultural crisis arise, natural phenomena or not. While many fight for right to vote, and hundreds of others. Where is the fight to eat right. It affects every group or identify you could possibly create. Social distancing is only difficult because not enough of us have land to grow our own food and live sustainable lives. With this, many cannot comprehend how poverty and crime are so dangerously intertwined with food. Houston has one of the the largest amount of car break-ins across the nation. Many done by teenagers scavenging for money for food. Not for luxury items, that money goes right into @mcdonalds @burgerking and all of the other low quality food options in our communities. Imagine in 2020 cutting off the limb of a thief for stealing food. We do it everyday when we penalize poor people for simply trying to survive. When we speak about climate change, the effects on people of color is often disregarded. Once again, land inequalities will only exacerbate hardships when agricultural crisis arise! #foodfight #foodapartheid #foodinequality #exacerbatinghardship
Opening a grocery store was always in Rhodes’ future but the coronavirus pandemic accelerated his timeline. The store will provide him with a way to keep his Indigo staff employed while the restaurant is closed and it also fulfills a need in the community.
“You think about this epidemic that’s going on, one of the things you see is grocery stores can’t keep things on the shelves. Over here, there are no shelves to be empty, because there are no grocery stores. Instead of there being empty shelves, there’s empty bellies,” Rhodes tells CultureMap.
“Since this has taken place, a lot of them are surviving on chips, soda, candy. That’s only going to make what’s going on right now worse. Now, you don’t have the immune system to fight it off, because we’re poisoning ourselves. We just want to be able to provide [an alternative].”